A little over a week ago I bought the kids a wading pool, 8' diameter x 18" deep. At the time it was a great idea, considering it was in the upper 90's outside, and I had a nice flat spot with decent shade to put it in.
It was a great idea for exactly one day. It was a good idea for one more day. By the third day I was wondering what I was thinking, and by the seventh day I put 23 goldfish, 4 ivory snails, and 4 floating plants in it.
How did I get there, you ask?
The first day was the filling of the tank, which was accompanied by a good friend and the toddler, all of us splashing about. About a quarter of the way through the filling process, I came to realize that the structure (a semi-rigid soft-sided thing of impossible description) was not really meant to hold itself up, no matter what the packaging promised. So I added two chairs to hold up the sides, and positioned myself as a third support, where I sat for two hours, as the day faded, the water cooled, and I began to shiver.
I continued this work on day two, after only completing half the filling on the first day. Overnight, however, the top half of the side had folded over (I said it was semi-rigid, remember) and had been creased under the weight of the water. And now it didn't want to stand up again.
Battling the limp side, I repositioned the two chairs and myself into another tripod of support and set about the task of holding up a weak side while the toddler splashed like mad knocking as much water out of the pool as was filling it. The cool water was a refreshment from the summer heat and we had fun, even if not as much fun as the day before. The job got completed long into the evening, long after the toddler was warm in bed, and I retreated to a hot shower to warm up again.
We didn't even go out there on day three. Seems the idea of splashing is what attracted the toddler in the first place, not the pool.
Same on day four. By now I'm asking myself why I bothered.
Oh, and that weak side doubled over again, leaking out a good 4 inches of water. It's a permanent foldover. By day four's end I hated that pool.
On day five I went outside, in my suit, intending to crawl into the pool and see what might be done to reshape the thing back into a circle instead of a leaning ellipse. I stepped into the pool and nearly found myself in a comedic pose with my feet over my head as though I'd stepped on a banana peel. The bottom of my four day old wading pool was slimy.
I got out again, not really caring if the side could be saved, and immediately went in to take a shower to wash off my mental picture of the slime. My son just stared at me as if I was a nut.
For the rest of day five, and all of day six, my husband and I discussed the future of the pool. Should we just tear it down and call it a day? Should we get chemicals for it? We researched the proper care of pools. We researched filtrtation systems. Somewhere along the line I started researching ponds. And filtration systems for ponds.
On day seven we had to go to the fish store for cichlid supplies. He shopped for supplies and I perused the fish. He wrangled the kid into the car as I checked out and looked at my bulging bag of small water-filled sacs curiously when I caught up with them at the car.
"What on earth did you buy?"
"Twenty-three goldfish, four floating purple-flowering ... hyacinths, I think, but I'm not sure I remember now, and 4 ivory snails."
"Why? What are you going to do with all of those?"
"I'm going to turn the pool into a pond."
He stared at me for a long minute.
"You think I'm nuts, don't you?"
He smiled. "No, I think you're eccentric. And I'm amused."
"Good," I said, returning the smile. "You get to mow the lawn while I get the pond set up."